Stockport County have confirmed the appointment of Ray Mathias as their new manager for next season.Mathias, 64, who joined the club as technical advisor earlier in the year, took charge of first-team affairs at Edgeley Park on a temporary basis in March when Peter Ward was asked to step down. Previous boss Paul Simpson was sacked in January. Stockport chief executive officer Graham Shaw said: "Ray Mathias has a fantastic pedigree, having enjoyed a very good career both as a player at Tranmere Rovers, where he played for almost 20 years, and as a coach and manager at Wigan Athletic, Tranmere Rovers, Macclesfield Town and Milton Keynes Dons before a brief spell in charge here at Edgeley Park at the end of last season. "Above all Ray impressed throughout the interview process with his plans for the future of Stockport County FC, coaching and improving players, and his own personal ambitions. "We are delighted that Ray has accepted the challenge and look forward to an exciting time ahead as the club looks to regain its place in the Football League at the earliest opportunity." Mathias had two spells in charge of both Wigan and Tranmere before a brief stint at Chester in 2004.